Montreal’s official opposition wants the city and its police to create a “web patrol” to tackle online violence among young adults.
City councillors made the announcement Wednesday morning at a joint press conference with NSK, a local community group working with at-risk youth.
The proposed team would be made of social and community workers as well as the police.
“There’s a lack of education and there’s a lack of prevention for whatever reason,” said NSK board member, Will Baptiste.
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The group claims violent disputes on social media often move to the streets.
According to data from the Montreal police, cybercrime has jumped from 20 to 30 per cent in the last five years, and 98 per cent of these cases involve the use of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube.
“We are talking about the lives of our children that are in peril right now. and it is absolutely imperative that we do that, because imagine if we don’t take care of it now, what’s going to happen in next generation?” asked Baptiste.
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The official opposition also wants to promote prevention tools and develop spaces for self expression, such as a chat platform for cybercrime victims.
These would be complementary to a phone line for Montrealers affected by youth violence.
“I’m really happy that the opposition is is admitting and coming along with our plan for public security,” said Alain Vaillancourt, executive committee member responsible for public security.
Vaillancourt says he looks forward to debating the motion when the opposition tables it at city hall on Aug. 22.
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